Bologna, Italy, Europe
I finished work for the next couple of weeks today and met Melissa on the tram at the West End. We got to the airport in plenty of time for our flight, which was good because we had to go to the Ryanair desk for them to check Melissa’s visa to come back into the country. Although her visa is good for the next few years, her Colombian passport still means that she will have to get it checked before going on any journeys.
We had a quick drink in the airport while waiting for our flight to board, and then headed down to our gate. Ryanair gets a bad reputation because it is so basic, but for £45 per person roundtrip to Italy, I saw nothing to complain about. Melissa was forced to check her carry on bag because they had counted 90 of them before hers, so she was out of luck. That’s not really their fault though. When airlines decided to start charging people to check bags, everyone started carrying on more baggage so now there isn’t enough space in the cabin. Just poor planning on the airline’s part.
We arrived into Bologna a little earlier than expected and blew through immigration. Melissa’s bag was one of the first to come off the belt, and then we were off to get our car rental. We found the Noleggiare rental desk and got the keys to our Citroen C1. The receptionist was very friendly and recommended a couple of places for us to visit while we are here. We found the car, took a bunch of pictures of all the scratches and dents on the car for proof before we took off.
We found out straight away that my phone, which we were using as our guidance system to get around, is broken. The GPS on my LG G5 has been acting up for the last few months, and I thought it had been fixed, but no. As soon as we left the airport we lost the GPS signal and got lost. Luckily Melissa is pretty good at ready maps and was able to figure out where we are and got us to our hotel.
We arrived at Mirabilia Hotel around 10:10pm, and no one answered the button for reception. I had bought a Three sim card for this trip so I would have data on this äóìFeel at Homeäó country, and I’m really glad I did. I was able to use Skype to call the hotel, and finally a man answered who said he would be sending a girl down in 10 minutes to open the door. We parked the car on the street and waited for the receptionist to come let us in. She didn’t speak any English (she was Moldovan), but Melissa was able to converse enough in Italian to get by.
The hotel is not so nice. It has a very funky smell, and it’s not in the nicest area of town, but it’s convenient enough. We aren’t planning on staying here for long tomorrow, so it’ll just be a place to sleep really. We left our bags, hopped on a 19 bus and got into the center of Bologna by 11pm. We walked around for about 15 minutes trying to find a place to eat, and we got a great recommendation from a restaurant that had just closed. We walked around to 051 and found a bunch of people sitting at high top tables. We found a table and sat in the middle of the massive group enjoying their food and drinks at almost midnight.
We ordered some local beers, meatballs and ragu sauce, and some tigelle with random fillings. These were like small bread rolls that were grilled and cut open to fill with meat and cheeses. They were amazing! There was ham, proscuto, turkey, asparagus, creamed cheese, all kinds of things. We hung out there for about 45 minutes until the smokers nearby got too much for us. We realised pretty quickly that about half the people in Italy smoke, so that’s not great at an outdoor restaurant.
We took a little walk around the city center and then hopped on a bus to get back to our hotel. We were told that there might only be one or two buses still running at this time, so we didn’t want to miss it. We are getting to bed around 1am and we are looking to get an early start tomorrow. We weren’t blown away with Bologna tonight, so we are going to take a recommendation from the car rental lady and check out the town of Ravenna on our way to San Marino. Let’s hope for good weather!